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Weight Loss This woman's photos reveal the very real dangers of exercise addiction

"I was ADDICTED to working out and running myself into the ground."

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For her Transformation Tuesday post this week, fitness blogger Erin of Queen City Sweat did something a little bit different.

Instead of posting images showing weight loss or improved muscle definition, Erin shared an image of herself from June 2016, when she says she was addicted to exercise, alongside a photograph of what she looks like since adopting a more balanced lifestyle today.

The Charlotte-based blogger explained in the caption:

"On the left I was ADDICTED to working out and was running myself into the ground. I was not eating close to what I should've been eating and ended up with a severe case of anemia causing a lack of energy to the point where I could barely get out of bed. Yet, I still forced myself to go to the gym although I felt like a zombie. The reason for this? Instagram. It becomes so easy to start comparing yourself to others on here, which led me to developing a mindset of — 'how skinny can I get?' rather than 'how healthy can I be?'"

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University defined people addicted to exercise as those who "view exercise as the central part of their lives, and experience disturbing deprivation sensations when they are unable to exercise." Exercise psychologist Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D. co-authored a paper published in the British Medical Journal in April 2017, which estimated that symptoms of exercise addiction are present in 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent of the world's population.

Erin says that her "old idea of balance was cutting cals during the week, binging on the weekends" and then forcing herself to work out to make up for it. But now, a balanced lifestyle involves listening to her body, eating without counting calories, taking rest days, and prioritizing time with people she loves. And she looks great.

Erin also offered advice to followers who may be going through something similar.

"My only advice for you is don't fall into the Instagram trap," she wrote. "Not everything on here is picture perfect. Stop comparing yourself to others and start loving the body you have been given. After all, it is capable of great things! "

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